Lot 82
  • 82

Attributed to Domenico Robusti, called Domenico Tintoretto

60,000 - 80,000 USD
75,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Domenico Robusti, called Domenico Tintoretto
  • Portrait of Tomasso Contarini (1488-1578)
  • oil on canvas
  • 68 3/4  by 42 in; 175 by 107 cm. 


Prince Alberto Giovanelli, Venice, by 1901;
With Italico Brass, Venice;
Art market, Rome;
Nelson Atkins Museum, Kansas City, by 1932 (inv. no. 32-182);
By whom sold, New York, Christie's, 15 January, 1985, lot 130 (as School of Jacopo Tintoretto);
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby's, 8 April 1987, lot 4 (as Jacopo Tintoretto);
Anonymous sale, London, Christie's, 13 December 1991, lot 256 (as attributed to Jacopo Tintoretto).


Cleveland, Cleveland Museum of Art, Twentieth Anniversary Exhibition, Official Art Exhibition of the Great Lakes Exposition, 26 June - 4 October 1936, no. 170;
Columbus, Ohio, Fine Arts Gallery, February 1938, no. 7;
New York, Durlacher Brothers, A loan exhibition of paintings by Jacopo Robusti, Il Tintoretto, 1519-1594, 20 February- 18 March, 1939, no. 11 (as Jacopo Tintoretto).


H. Thode, "Tintoretto. Kritische Studien über des Meisters Werke," in Repertorium für Kunstwissenschaft, vol. 27, 1901, p. 45, cat. no. 258 (as Jacopo Tintoretto);
H. Thode, Tintoretto, Bielefeld und Leipzig 1901, p. 80 (as Jacopo Tintoretto);
C. Ridolfi, Le Maraviglie dell'Arte, Venice 1648 (republished by D. von Hadeln, Berlin 1924, vol. II, p. 54, note 3, as Jacopo Tintoretto);
Handbook of the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art, Kansas City, 1933, reproduced p. 19;
Art Digest, vol. 8, 1 December 1933, p. 13, reproduced;
A.M Frankfurter, Art News, vol. 32, December 1933, pp. 29, 32, reproduced;
American Magazine of Art, December 1933, vol. 26, p. 526, reproduced;
Art and Archaeology, January 1934, pp. 39, 41, reproduced;
"Die William Rockhill Nelson Gallery in Kansas City," in Pantheon, vol. 13, 1934, p. 50, reproduced p. 52 (as Jacopo Tintoretto);
A.L. Mayer, "Sur deux portraits d'amiraux vénitien," in Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 1934, no. 2, p. 223;
B. Berenson, Pitture italiane del Rinascimento, Milan 1936, p. 481 (as Jacopo Tintoretto);
Catalogue of the twentieth anniversary exhibition of the Cleveland Museum of Art : the official art exhibit of the Great Lakes Exposition, Cleveland 1936, p. 72, cat. no. 170, reproduced plate XXIX (as Jacopo Tintoretto);
The William Rochkill Nelson Collection, Kansas City 1940, p. 31, reproduced (as Jacopo Tintoretto);
E. von der Bercken, Die Gemälde des Jacopo Tintoretto, Munich 1942, pp. 111-112, 145, cat. no. 147, 149, reproduced 339;
P. Wescher, "I ritratti del Doge Giralamo Priuli del Tintoretto," in Arte Veneta, 1957, no. XI, p. 207 (as Jacopo Tintoretto);
Handbook of the Collections in the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art and Mary Atkins Museum of Fine Arts, Kansas City 1959, p. 263 (as Jacopo Tintoretto, and dateable to 1555);
C. Benari and P. De Vecchi, L'opera completa del Tintoretto, Milan 1970, p. 134, cat. no. F.7, reproduced, p. 136 (on the list of "other works attributed to Jacopo Tintoretto"); 
B.B. Fredericksen and F. Zeri, Census of Pre-Nineteenth-Century Italian Paintings in North American Public Collections, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1972, p. 200 (as Jacopo Tintoretto);
R. E. Taggart and G. L. McKenna, Handbook of the collections in the William Rockhill Nelson Gallery of Art and Mary Atkins Museum of Fine Arts, Kansas City 1973, p. 261 (as School of Jacopo Tintoretto and dated 1555);
P. Rossi, Jacopo Tintoretto: I Ritratti, Milan 1990, p. 143, reproduced fig. 221 (as school of Jacopo Tintoretto).

Catalogue Note

Tommasso Contarini (1488-1578) was one of the leading political figures of the Venetian Republic in the first three quarters of the 16th century.  He was from the Madonna dell’Orto branch of the noble Contarini family, the second son of Alvise di Federico Contarini and his wife Polissena Malipiero.  His older brother, Gasparo, entered the church, eventually attaining the rank of Cardinal and became a diplomat and important intellectual figure of the period.  Gasparo’s most important work is probably the De magistratibus et republica venetorum (Paris 1543), which is a written explanation for foreigners of Venice’s unique system of government, in which his brother Tommasso was a very active member. 

Tommasso’s many offices are hinted at in the Latin inscription in his portrait, many of which were overseeing the military and civic infrastructure of the Republic.  He was Podestà (or governor) of the city of Verona, and in January 1557 he was appointed to the important position of the Provveditore Generale of the Terraferma.  In March of the same year, he was made Procurator of San Marco de cintra (a lifetime office that was second only to the Doge in prestige, and which is mentioned in the inscription).  He was also on the committee of three members that began the process of replacing the ruinous Rialto Bridge with its current and magnificent form.  However, he is shown as a military figure in this portrait, which recalls his election as the Capitano del Mar in 1558, in charge of a large fleet in anticipation of a Turkish assault on Venetian possessions in the Mediterranean.